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NOAH: A lighted candle in a waterless bowl burns normally and

eventually, the whole candle is consumed. This is caused by the action of

both heat flow and a high temperature.

JIAN: However, a candle burns differently when water is added to the

bowl. It looks like a magic trick that a candle will burn while it is
underwater, but it is not.

AYA: In this experiment, we will see how a candle burns underwater.

Here are the materials:

 clear glass
 decorations (pebbles, artificial flowers, etc.)
 empty water bottle

 candle
 scissor
 water
 used cooking oil
 food color (optional)

FRANCIS: Here is the procedure:

1. Remove the wick from a candle.

2. Find a glass jar that you would like to use for the candle and cut
out a thin plastic disk from the empty water bottle that will fit
inside of the jar.
3. Make a small hole in the center of the thin disk, knot the wick
about an inch from the top and then put the wick through the

4. Fill the glass with water leaving about half an inch empty.

5. Then place the plastic disk and wick on top of the water in the

6. Pour the cooking oil on top of the plastic disk making a thin
layer of oil. Put 5 ml used cooking oil in Sample 1 glass and 15
ml in Sample 2 glass.

7. The water candles are ready to be lit.



FRANCIS: As the candle continues to burn, a part of the wax

surrounding the wick does not melt leaving a wall of protection around
the wick. This wall allows the candle to continue to burn even though the
flame is already lower than the water.

SOPHIE: But after a while, the water gets in through the top of the
candle and turns the flame off.


AIA: (Point to the commercial candle) The ordinary commercial candle which
costs seven pesos (₱7.00) in the carbon market lasted 2.5 hours. As it burns, it emits the
gentle smell of wax. The color of the flame is orange.

SOPHIE: (Point to Sample 1) On the other hand, Sample 1 is mainly consist of 5 ml

of waste cooking oil and 165 ml of water, lasted 1.5 hours.

FRANCIS: (Point to Sample 1) Sample 2 which is mainly consist of 15 ml of waste

cooking oil and 165 ml water, took 4 hours before the flame turned off.

NOAH: We conclude that Sample 2 can be comparable to the commercially produced

candles in terms of length of time that the candle remains lighted and the color of the flame.
In terms of price, candle out of waste cooking oil is definitely more economical as recyclable
materials were used.

JIAN: Although the lighted candle out of waste cooking oil produced a slight smell
reflecting the smell of food it was used on, it is negligible. Nonetheless, scent can be added to
improve the smell, if preferred.

AIA: How did the wax wall form and why doesn’t it normally do this
when you’re burning the candle out of the water?

EVERYONE: NOAH, AYA, FRANCIS, JIAN: The answer is the water.

NOAH: The very thing that could stop the fire is the very same one that
is allowing it to burn in this underwater candle experiment.

JIAN: Basically, the cool water surrounding the candle is absorbing the
heat from the flame.
AIA: This allows the wax to stay solid instead of melting or dripping on to
the side like it normally does.

FRANCIS: And that’s how the candle kept burning.


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